Professor David Eager is an expert in the safety aspects of trampolines, playgrounds, artificial climbing structures and recreation equipment. His contribution to Standards Australia has been hugely instrumental in lowering injury rates. In 2020 he was recognised for his commitment through the Standards Australia National Meritorious Contribution Award.
Professor Eager, or David, as he is known amongst the standards community is internationally recognised as an expert on the safety aspects of trampolines and playgrounds, play surfaces, and sports and recreation equipment.
David is the Professor of Risk Management and Injury Prevention at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), he has a PhD in Engineering from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), 1st Class Honours Degree in Engineering from the New South Wales Institute of Technology (NSWIT), and a Graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution from UTS.
Along with these esteemed qualifications, David is a Fellow of Engineers Australia, a Chartered Professional Engineer and is on the National Professional Engineers Register.
David’s passion for recreational activity intersects his contribution to Standards Australia in a professional capacity.
As an undergraduate student, he was the driving force behind the formation of the inaugural NSWIT Mountaineering Society in 1979 (now known-as the ‘UTS Outdoor Adventure Club’) and served as the founding President of the Society (1979-80). As an academic, he Chaired the Australian Standards Committee SF-047 that was responsible for drafting and publishing the inaugural climbing gym Australian Standard AS 2316 Artificial climbing structures and challenge course equipment. He is currently the Chair of this Standards Committee.
David completed his final year of an undergraduate degree in Engineering as Dux and then went on to work in the mining, manufacturing and construction industries for a decade before shifting towards a career in academia.
By 1992 he was awarded an Australian Postgraduate Research Award and joined the UTS academic staff in 1995. In 2007 he was appointed as an honorary safety advisor with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, then honed his skills in this specific area of standards through a variety of TAFE courses.
In 2020 David was awarded the Standards Australia National Meritorious Contribution Award for dedicated service in standards development.
David believes Standards are often ‘unsung heroes’: “If standards are done well, they’re not seen by everyday people as the accidents are prevented before they occur”.
David continues to be both an expert and advocate for safety standards around equipment structures, representing Engineers Australia across a number of Australian Standards Committees. Including Trampoline Park Facilities SF-051, Children's Playground Equipment and Surfacing CS-005, Amusement Rides and Devices ME-051, Landborne Inflatable Devices ME-51-02, Contained Play Facilities ME-51-03 and Sports and Recreational Equipment CS-101.
This list of accomplishments was preceded by a very rich and impressive career both in the field and in the classroom.
“My career in trampoline standards happened completely by chance. I was on another committee and a Standards Australia staff member asked if I’d be interested in being Chair on a coffee break. That set his standards pathway from 2000 to now. It goes to show that passing conversations and chance meetings can play an important role in your life,” David explained.
David advises people looking to get into standards to make sure they’re committed to the work and to making a difference.
“To really excel in the world of standards you need to ensure you have the mental bandwidth to dedicate to committees, time available to volunteer and a supportive employer. It’s incredibly rewarding to help set important standards and the collaboration is well worth the effort,” he explained.”
“David has dedicated a quarter of a century to standards, and we are incredibly grateful and appreciative. His work in safety standards have protected Australian children for years and the Australian public owes him a debt of gratitude. We’re immensely proud of the work Standards Australia has achieved in the realm of safety and none of it would be possible without the decades-long contributions from experts like David,” said Adrian O’Connell, Chief Executive Officer at Standards Australia.